Running on empty? Wells draining the metro area

  • Article by: Kevin Giles , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Woodbury, Hugo, other cities and agencies working to reverse worrisome trend toward excessive groundwater use.

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texas_technomanFeb. 17, 1412:57 PM

Water, its the new oil. It's not just homeowners' wells, and city wells, that are draining our acquirers. How about that potato farm in Cass county...cleared forest land, drilled 4 big wells, plans on pumping 12 billion gallons a year to water his spuds...so we can "fries with it" at McD's. Water planning needs to take place for the entire state. Figure out how to capture some of this surface water from spring floods...use it. I hear a rumor that you can actually create a lake to hold it by building a dam.

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SlickrocksFeb. 17, 1412:59 PM

And the giant brains in Minneapolis think we need MORE people?

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sooofedupFeb. 17, 14 1:35 PM

And then there's the apartment complex in Calhoun that refuses to quit pumping groundwater just to dump it into the sewer.

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ruphinaFeb. 17, 14 1:39 PM

The solution was in the 1st paragraph- 4.7 T gallons flowing by. We need to use that water more than once. We have already storm-sewered and drain tiled the landscape to race the water into the rivers instead of letting it soak in. We need to suck some back out and use it. It can be used directly as irrigation, treated and used directly at the tap, or treated and pumped into the aquifer directly. Pumping into the aquifer, rather than into a dam, has the advantage of it not just evaporating. Bill G.

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hildigardFeb. 17, 14 1:47 PM

Hey Slickrocks, Minneapolis pulls its water from the Mississippi River -so yes, if in-migration to the city can slow exurban sprawl, this would actually help to solve the problem described in this article. I'm not sure if you were reading the same article? -the draw on the underground aquifer is from suburban and rural well pumping -not the draw from the river which could be considered a surface water resource. -better luck next time.

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bomborFeb. 17, 14 2:26 PM

The most expensive policy changes with the least impact are things like urban reuse and faucet restrictors. The least expensive with the biggest impact are stopping (not slowing) new agricultural/ethanol uses. Nobody wants to confront big Ag, though.

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tituspulloFeb. 17, 14 2:28 PM

I dug my well thirty years ago along with many of my neighbors out in the far northern suburbs and WE'RE the problem? Here's an idea...quit dumping water on your freaking lawns day and night for five months out of the year. I've seen lawns being watered into September in these crackerjack looking subdivisions. There's your water management problem!!

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elle2008Feb. 17, 14 2:44 PM

It is not those that have private sewers that are using all this water. We have to pay to have our tanks pumped and that is not cheap. Try talking to your regular people who have no clue that they are wasting such a precious resource. And they don't. fsmh.

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reader2580Feb. 17, 14 3:28 PM

How many people with wells irrigate the heck out of their lawns because the water is "free"? My parents cut way back on lawn irrigation because of the insane amount of money it was costing them on city water.

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braxozFeb. 17, 14 4:28 PM

sooofedupFeb. 17, 141:35 PM And then there's the apartment complex in Calhoun that refuses to quit pumping groundwater just to dump it into the sewer. __________ That is water from a different aquifer - the basement is below the water table - different issue. Most of the small residential wells in outlying areas are not into the deep aquifer either. It is the people watering with "city water" from the deep wells that cause the drawdown. In the past, groundwater from these deep aquifers was used to cool downtown buildings and then discharged into the Mississippi - don't know if that is still happening.

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